Ballet West tours to Dallas
Though Ballet West has toured extensively in its 50-plus year history, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based ballet company will only be making its North Texas debut this week, as part of the TITAS Presents series at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas. Concluding the company’s 2014-15 season, performances will present a varied program, including George Balanchine’s Divertimento #15, William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated and Jodie Gates’ Mercurial Landscapes.
Balanchine considered Mozart’s Divertimento #15 in B flat one of the finest pieces of music ever written. In this piece, as always, his sensitivity to music is unparalleled, creating subtle variations of unassuming elegance. Choreographed in 1956, Divertimento #15 is structurally quite unusual as it showcases five principal women and three men, with an ensemble of eight women.
“Divertimento #15 is pure bliss,” said Ballet West Artistic Director Adam Sklute before the company performed the work in Aspen last year. “It is like a cool, lovely, perfumed breeze for the soul. But don’t be mistaken, the soft elegance of this ballet masks a fiendishly difficult work that challenges the dancers to the greatest degree.”
Gates’ Mercurial Landscapes, on the other hand, focuses on people being “mercurial”, or unpredictable, moody, or clever. It features a beautifully choreographed meditation for eight couples set to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The Salt Lake Tribune said the work “transgressed ballet’s traditions while remaining based in the classical vocabulary.”
Lastly, Forsythe’s contemporary masterpiece In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated, which was premiered in 1987 by the Paris Opera Ballet, combines powerful choreography with an electronic score by Dutchman Thom Willems. Forsythe has explained that the work exploits “the vestiges of academic virtuosity that still signify ‘the classical.’”
Overall, North Texas dance fans who fell in love with Ballet West dancers as they were followed for the reality TV series Breaking Pointe, should not miss this classical-meets-contemporary mixed program.
To see these dancers traveling from the Rocky Mountain region to present shows on May 29 and 30, buy tickets at www.attpac.org.
Photo: Ballet West dancers in Divertimento #15. Photo courtesy of Ballet West.